Swanton Village Council last week approved the resignations of the fire chief and a police sergeant.
Fire Chief Anthony Schaffer will be retiring, effective March 19. He said in a letter to the village that after a 30-plus year career it is time to turn the page to a new chapter.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the men and women of the Swanton Fire and Rescue Division toward their next chapter of continued service, commitment to the community, professionalism, training, safety, and readiness,” he wrote. “Having solidified a foundation of professionalism among the Swanton Fire and Rescue personnel, ultimately provided the catalyst toward the most rewarding aspect of one’s career, which has been serving the citizens of the village and townships during one of the most challenging times in modern history.”
Schaffer took over as Swanton Fire Chief in late 2019.
Mayor Neil Toeppe thanked him for the job he has done as chief.
“He came in in difficult circumstances,” said Toeppe. “Not long after he came in, COVID hit. He had all those issues to deal with on top of normal management.”
Toeppe added that the search will begin soon for a replacement chief. The village will look at both internal and external applicants.
The resignation of police sergeant JD Rahman was also approved by Council, effective Feb. 20. He took a position in the Toledo Police Department.
The fiscal officer position is also open in the village. Toeppe said some candidates have been interviewed, but they also extended the application deadline.
Also at the Feb. 14 meeting, Council approved the third and final reading of an ordinance that changes the zoning of 98 Dodge St. from commercial to residential. The property, at the corner of Miller Avenue, contains a house at the edge of the downtown commercial district.
The owners of the property, Robin Howard and Kay Bloyd-Howard, spoke at the Council meeting in an attempt to get a new driveway approved for the property. The driveway would require the removal of a street parking spot and could be dangerous, according to Police Chief Adam Berg.
Robin Howard told Council their other parking options have issues as well. Parking on Dodge Street is limited to 90 minutes, which is not conducive to residential parking. They tried parking on Miller Avenue, but he said that caused issues for school buses turning onto the street.
Council did not take action either way, but seemed open to at least trying to find a compromise.
Council also approved emergency resolutions to dispose of surplus property and to oppose Ohio House Bill 512, which proposes an increase of employer contributions to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.
• Mayor Toeppe reported that the second phase of environmental testing at the site of a proposed railroad park is now complete. Ground pollutants were in an acceptable range and water pollutants on site should not cause an issue. There were metals detected, but if the municipal water supply is used at the site that should not be an issue, Toeppe said.
• Village Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle reiterated the the Snow Angels program was a way to connect volunteers with those who need help clearing snow. It is not a service that village employees provide.
• Hoelzle also plans to schedule a presentation from the Regional Income Tax Authority (RITA) to learn about services and clear up any confusion. A date has not been set.
• Underground work on the Project 8 and 9 sewer separation is complete. Road work will begin once temperatures rise. Hoelzle stressed that the project will be an inconvenience for residents in the area.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010